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Here’s why Star (ASX:SGR) shares are halted and under pressure

Shares of Star Entertainment Group Ltd (ASX: SGR) are currently in a trading halt and are now under the microscope after a negative outcome from a review into the casino operator.

Star is a major casino operator in NSW (and elsewhere in Australia). It has been the subject of a review by the NSW Independent Casino Commission chief commissioner Philip Crawford.

Star unfit to hold a casino licence

According to reporting by the Australian Financial Review, Star Entertainment has been found to be “unfit to hold a casino licence” in NSW. The state’s regulator has handed the group a show cause notice to explain why it should not take disciplinary action.

Mr Crawford said that the business had “institutional arrogance”.

The review reportedly found that “widespread misconduct occurred at the casino in the decade leading up to this year.”

Some of the conclusions from the review were pretty scathing. The AFR reported that Mr Crawford said the board of directors generally “had no clue” what was going on inside the casino operator and, as such, “weren’t really doing their job”.

There may be more work for the business to do. Mr Crawford said that Star’s leadership ignored “the risks inherent in a lot of the conduct”. But, while some people are no longer in the business, he said “it’s not a matter of sacking a number of chief executives and saying everything is right again”.

It was also revealed that the police are looking into a range of issues relating to individuals and breaches of the Casino Control Act.

Star has two weeks to respond.

The AFR stated:

It is unlikely the Star will be forced to close completely, and Mr Crawford said the regulator would consider the toll any action would have on Star’s 8000 employees and the wider community before making a decision.

Final thoughts on the Star share price

I’m no legal expert, so it’s hard to say what’s going to happen next. However, at the time of writing the Star share price is down around 30% in 2022. With investor sentiment now really low, Star could be a recovery opportunity after it comes out of a trading halt.

But, it’s not the type of investment I like to look at. I’m not sure how much compound growth Star can generate after an initial recovery. There are other ASX growth shares that I think can grow a lot more over the coming years.

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At the time of publishing, Jaz does not have a financial or commercial interest in any of the companies mentioned.
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